Nothing wrong with a rattle can paint job if it is done right. Use a quality brand of primer and paint. I like to use the same brand for each. Have had real good luck with X-o-Rust. Take your time, several thin coats and follow directions.
Rattle can paint is not as durable as automotive paint so don't expect it to stay bright and shiny if it sits out in the weather all the time. You can always do a first class paint job later on if your not happy with the rattle can job
It is possible to do an excellent job with rattle cans. You will pay quite a bit for them. Preparation is key! Crap paint will look ten times better with meticulous body work. Practice on the mower and get good on the show tractor.
I do what I can myself.But I'm slow at it.I make them 100% mechanically sound 1st then use them for a bit and work the kinks out before tearing them apart for paint and body work.
If you really plan on keeping it then look into Powder coating.It will outlast any grade of car paint.Betting it will be cheaper than $500 to but there is a alot more Prep work that you will have to do.You can't just tape off stuff that you don't want painted.You have to completely disassemble it down to the bare frame.Rubber and plastic parts can't be powder coated.
If you decide to paint it yourself make sure you have a Huge well ventilated indoor space you can lay the all of the parts out on for atleast a couple weeks.
Wonder if that $500 includes taking it completely apart,painting and reassembling it?Or will he just tape it up and shoot it?Price Seems a really high for a quart of paint,thinner,primer and clear coat if he's not going to take it apart and paint.
500 is a reasonable price for that. My daughter hit a deer and I had to replace a fender and bumper cover. Asked local body shop and was quoted 400. And that was me bringing the panel's down to them to refinish and take home to install..